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0 / 75
a great film
By Bridget Taylor
Debuting at number one in its
opening weekend, Coach Carter is a
crowd-pleaser. It grossed more than
$29 million, selling out many theaters
across the country.
The film is based on the true story
of high school basketball coach, Ken
Carter, who guides his players to tri
umph on and off the court.
Carter is a tough coach whose
guiding principles are education, dis
cipline and respect.
The movie opens with him taking
over as coach of the inner city
Richmond High School team that he
once attended. In fact, he was one of
the school's basketball stars in the
However, the teens that he coached
showed no respect to him or other
adults, and the students lacked direc
tion, not too mention that they were
losers on the court. They weren't
winning any basketball games.
So when Carter began coaching, he
asked the players to sign contracts in
order to play.
Three of the main stipulations in
the contract were that each player
dress in a shirt and tie on game days,
sit in the front row of their classes
and maintain a 2.3 GPA.
A change in attitude among most
players became evident soon after.
For one, they stopped acting as if '
they were thugs off the street. They
behaved as respectable young men.
The players also learned to play as a
team and improved their physical
After receiving progress reports
from the players' teachers. Carter
found that most members of the team
continued to fail at least one class.
Carter made a tough decision: He
locked the gym and canceled a few
He was determined to show the
players that without an education,
basketball didn't matter. And because
they weren't doing well in classes, he
refused to let them play until their
Of course, it wouldn't be a great
movie if they hadn't improved their
grades. Moreover, it wouldn't be a
good sports movie if it didn't include
"the big game."
As far as performance goes, Samuel
L. Jackson, who portrays Ken Carter,
gave a great performance. "1 really
enjoyed the movie, so much that
I'd see it again," LaToya Webb, a
junior nursing major, said.
Jackson worked really hard to
make his role believable. The entire
cast gave a good performance. Other
key players in the film were Keyton
Stone (Rob Brown), Damien Carter
(Robert Richard), Timo Cruz (Rick
Gonzalez) and Kyra (Ashanti).
Coach Carter is a great feel good
movie. It included comedy, powerful
speeches and it had a solid story line.
It'll have you leaving the theater as I
did, saying, "Wow. That was really
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are something of an
oddity in the world of
comics, but one artist
is trying to revive ...
By Van Monroe
On June 25,1967, a toddler
named Toby Johnston was
abducted from his backyard while
playing. A group of men dressed in
black suits delivered him to
Timothy Nathaniel Braddoxx, who
then conducted experiments on the
boy, along with dozens of other
children he kidnapped.
Among other things, Braddoxx
surgically implanted a chip into
the toddler ' s brain stem, which
heightened his ability to think as
well as his physical ability by 200
But Braddoxx thought the exper
iment failed and left the child to
wander the streets of Winston-
Salem. Eventually, a military fam
ily named Kincaid adopted Toby,
changed his name to Richard
James Kincaid and introduced him
to the teachings of a Filipino
grandmaster of martial arts who
taught him how to "purge" his
mind, body and spirit of his tor
tured past. This relationship
between martial arts teacher and
student marked the beginning of a
saga in which this little boy ulti
mately became known as Purge.
If this all sounds unreal to you.
like something Out of the sci-fi
realm or a scene out of the movie
"Men in Black," you're right: It's
fiction. Purge is a comic book char
acter, an African-American high-
tech company president who dou
bles as an urban crime fighter, bat
tling for "justice and truth" and
supremacy over one of the world's
The creator of Purge is Roosevelt
Pitt Jr. Pitt introduced Purge to the
comic-book world in 1995.
The title sold more than 250,000
copies during its first run, accord
ing to Pitt. However, it was the
first and last run. Now Pitt is try
ing to revive the story line, with
hopes of reintroducing this
African-American superhero in
Purge is not the first African-
American superhero, but such
characters are still relatively rare.
Marvel Entertainment Group, the
dominant publisher in the comic
book industry, introduced its first
black character. Whitewash, in the
1940s, and the character's name
speaks for itself.
Then in 1966, Marvel introduced
the Black Panther in the Fantastic
Four, and this move started a wave
of black superheroes, including
The Falcon, Power Man and Black
Lightning. One of the most suc
cessful African American indepen
dent comic book companies in the
country has been Omega7 Inc.,
which even has action figures in
stores such as Wal-Mart, Toys R '
Us and Kbkids.com And perhaps
the most famous black comic book
character. Blade, was portrayed by
the actor Wesley Snipes in the
movies "Blade" and "Blade II."
It is not an easy industry to
break into, nor stay in, as Pitt well
knows. It requires "patience,
patience, patience," he said. "Like
most comic creators, we (Pitt's
publishing company, AMARA) are
not zillionaires and finances were
always lacking or not coming in
Nevertheless, he keeps creating
and is open to new ideas and tal
ent. 'The colleges, especially
HBCU's have loads of talented
writers and artists who just need a
chance to spread their wings and
Anyone interested in learning
more about this genre can check
out the one and only Web site
devoted to the history and culture
of the black superheroes at
John Legend's debut 'Get Lifted' worth all the hype
By Kiandra Jefferson
Everyone around campus
is talking about the new hot
artist, John Legend, and his
debut album "Get Lifted."
And, it is well worth talking
Legend describes his
album as a fuse between the
vibe of "classic old school
soul music" with the "edgy
flavor of 21st century hip-
Listeners will find that
"the romantic themes of tra
ditional R&B permeate"
with "street-worthy hipness
and confidence: the sensual
ity of Marvin
Gaye and the sincerity of
Stevie Wonder merging with
the directness of Snoop
Dogg and the wit of Kanye
West." All is true, even
though he said it himself.
Legend spent most of his
musical life in church,
before going off to college at
He recently received a
NAACP Image Award
Outstanding New Artist.
Among the striking fea
tures of this album are its
lyrics, harmonic blends, his
smooth voice and just the
way he plays the piano. The
music is memorable.
The lyrics move through
time, taking the listener
back to old R&B standards
and back to the days of
Marvin Gaye, Stevie
Wonder and Donny
Hathaway. Yet, it also
moves forward to present
There is also a sincerity
about the way Legend, who
was born John Stephens,
delivers his musical mes
Personal favorites on the
album are "Used to Love
U," "Stay With You," "So
High," "Refuge (When It' s
Cold Outside)," "Number
One (feat. Kanye West)"
and, best of all, "Ordinary
Anyone in a romantic
relationship, or even wish
ing to be in a romantic rela
tionship, will find him or
herself moved by the lyrics
on this cut.
The title is "Get Lifted"
and that's exactly what will
happen when you listen to
this new, awesome artist.